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Ohio Cuffs & Collars – June 5th, 2015

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• State wildlife officer Matt Teders was patrolling Madison County in early spring when he observed a vehicle parked near Deer Creek. Officer Teders observed two individuals fishing. One individual finished a can of beer and threw it on the ground. Both individuals continued to fish and caught several bass. The individual who was drinking beer then produced an illegal substance. When the individuals began to pack up, the same man picked up his beer can and threw it in the flames of the camp fire. Officer Teders contacted the individuals. The illegal substance was seized and the individual was issued a summons to appear in Madison County Municipal Court for littering. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine with $400 suspended, and $100 in court costs. He was also given a 60-day suspended jail sentence and placed on one year of probation.
• In April, officers working in plain clothes were conducting surveillance below the spillway at Hoover Reservoir, and teamed up with state wildlife officers Brad Kiger and Josh Shields. Fishermen were reported to be snagging fish in the area during the previous week. Several fishermen were identified as potential snagging violators and were observed from a distance. As two of the fishermen packed their gear to leave, officer Shields and officer Kiger contacted them and inspected their catch and fishing licenses. Both of the fishermen were issued citations, one for litter and the other for unlawfully taking saugeye by snagging. Both men pleaded guilty and paid $150 fines in Franklin County Court.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• During the opening weekend of the 2014 Lake Erie Marsh Zone waterfowl hunting season, state wildlife officers received a call from hunters at Mallard Club Wildlife Area. The callers reported seeing a group of four hunters who shot at a flock of three trumpeter swans, killing at least one. Officers were able to locate and stop the group of hunters. Further investigation revealed they all had shot at the swans. One of the suspects was a juvenile. The juvenile was charged in Lucas County Juvenile Court and the case was dismissed. The three adults were charged in Oregon Municipal Court and were all found guilty. They were each given 40 hours of community service, $187 in fines and court costs, and split the $1,000 restitution. Trumpeter swans are a threatened species in Ohio and it is illegal to hunt them.
• State wildlife investigator Matthew L. Fisher, assigned to Lake Erie, was checking anglers in Conneaut Harbor when he observed a boat come in with only one individual on board. At the dock he watched as the individual took yellow perch out of a cooler and put them into a bucket. Officer Fisher contacted the angler and asked how he had done. The man stated they caught around 50 yellow perch. Officer Fisher counted 69 yellow perch in the bucket, and asked the man who he was fishing with. The man replied that he was fishing with his girlfriend, and she was in the bathroom. Officer Fisher informed the man that he had watched him come off the lake and he was the only individual on board. Officer Fisher issued the man a ticket for possessing 39 yellow perch over the limit, and the fish were seized as evidence. The defendant appeared in Conneaut Municipal Court and was found guilty. He was ordered to pay a $250 fine plus $95 in court costs, and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 30 of which were suspended under the conditions of unsupervised community control and no offenses for five years. The man was also ordered to pay $780 in restitution for the 39 extra yellow perch, and his fishing privileges were suspended for one year.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• State wildlife officer Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, received information about an individual who illegally harvested two antlered white-tailed deer. Officer Earick arrived at the residence where the deer were being processed. He contacted the homeowner, who was not the suspect. Through the course of the investigation officer Earick learned that a suspect killed two antlered deer, butchered them, and took the antlers and hides to his residence. Officer Earick seized the venison from inside the garage and contacted state wildlife officer Jeremy Carter, assigned to Holmes County, to obtain a search warrant for the suspect’s home. Officer Earick, officer Carter, and wildlife investigator Brian Banbury executed the search warrant and seized photographs and the antlers from both deer. The man was charged and convicted of possessing untagged deer parts and taking more than one antlered deer. He was ordered to pay more than $1,550 in fines and court costs and served 10 days in jail. The venison, hides, and antlers were forfeited to the ODNR Division of Wildlife.
• While patrolling on opening day of the 2014 deer-gun hunting season, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, observed a man walking out of the woods in a brown jacket and orange hat. When officer Turner stopped to ask the man for his hunting license, the man said he did not need them because he was hunting on his brother-in-law’s property. After a short discussion about Ohio’s landowner license exemptions and hunter orange requirements, the man was issued summonses for hunting without a license and a deer permit, and failing to wear the required hunter orange clothing.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• State wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, received information in the fall of 2014 that a man killed a buck deer with a firearm during the first week of the archery season. Officer Nelson contacted wildlife investigator Travis Abele for assistance. The two officers contacted the man at his residence. During the interview, it was determined that the man shot a buck with a shotgun. The shotgun was at a local pawn shop and the antlers were sold to another man. The officers contacted the buyer of the deer antlers and were able to collect them as evidence. The man was charged with hunting without a license, taking a deer with an illegal hunting implement, and failing to check in a deer. He received $693 in fines and court costs, lost his hunting privileges for one year, and was ordered to pay $500 in restitution for the buck deer.
• During the 2015 spring turkey season, state wildlife officer Matt Van Cleve, assigned to Pike County, was contacted by a hunting guide. The guide stated people were hunting without permission on land he leased. Officer Van Cleve and a sheriff’s deputy from Pike County met with the guide. The two officers went to a location where an all-terrain vehicle had been parked on the guide’s leased property. The officers soon contacted the owners of the all-terrain vehicle. Further investigation revealed two people were hunting without permission and were cited for the violation. Both are to appear in court.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• State wildlife officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, was checking anglers for fishing license compliance at Rush Run Wildlife Area. Officer Turner watched a man put a bass on his stringer. Officer Turner later contacted the man and asked if the fish was longer than 15 inches. The man said that he didn’t have a tape measure. Officer Turner measured the bass to be nine inches, short of the 15-inch minimum size requirement for bass at Rush Run Lake. Officer Turner issued the man a summons for the violation. He paid $150 in fines and court costs.
Division of Watercraft

Northern – Akron Area Office
• In April, officers Stafford and Daisher were on patrol at Portage Lakes in Summit County when they observed a vessel creating a wake in a no-wake zone. The officers initiated a stop with the vessel. Upon speaking with the operator, he stated that he was not aware of the no-wake zone law as this was his first time on the lake. A vessel safety inspection was performed, and it was discovered that the operator did not have a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators approved boating education card or a fire extinguisher on board. Officer Stafford cited the operator with failure to obtain a boating education certificate and provided him with a warning for the other two violations. The vessel was then terminated from the water and towed to shore. The operator later pleaded guilty to the charge in court and was fined $136.
Northern – Ashtabula Area Office
• While on patrol on Pymatuning Lake in April, watercraft officer Conrad and wildlife officer Warren observed a kayak operating without a state registration decal affixed to the vessel. Upon contact, the operator stated that the decal was on top of the deck of the vessel underneath gear but not in the required position. Officer Conrad completed a vessel safety inspection and found the operator to be lacking a wearable life jacket on board. The operator instead was carrying a Type 4 throwable device that he thought was sufficient. The operator was given a warning and terminated from operation for the rest of the day. Boaters are reminded that they are required to have enough wearable life jackets on board for each person on board while operating on Ohio’s waterways.
Northern – Wapakoneta Area Office
• On Indian Lake, in the idle speed/no-wake zone near Avondale, officer Roeger saw a pontoon boat operating at approximately 20 miles per hour. Upon stopping the vessel, officer Roeger recognized the operator from a previous stop, which resulted in an idle speed/no-wake violation citation in the Dream Bridge area. The operator said he remembered and admitted he was going even faster this time. A citation was issued to the operator for operating a vessel above idle speed in a marked idle speed/no-wake zone. The vessel was also terminated from the water until safety equipment violations found during the stop were corrected. The operator paid the fine and court cost totaling $150.
Southern – Alum Creek Area Office
• In December 2014, watercraft officers Foos and Henak responded to Alum Creek to assist Ohio State Parks and the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office on the report of a missing/overdue hiker. The female subject had possibly been missing for more than 48 hours. Her vehicle was located at the Route 36/37 fishing access. Upon arriving on scene with a patrol vessel, the officers began searching the shoreline for any signs of the missing hiker. A short time later, the missing hiker was found lying face down, showing minimal signs of life, along the shoreline north of 36/37. With the assistance of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office and Delaware County EMS, the female victim was backboarded and rushed to shore to a waiting ambulance. After a short stay in the hospital, the victim recovered.
Southern – Cambridge Area Office
• Officer Plumly was ending his shift in July 2014 when he received a call from the ODNR dispatch. He was informed of a lost boater at Salt Fork Lake. Officers Plumly and Klies responded to Salt Fork. The watercraft officers were able to contact and assist the lost boater to shore after several hours of searching in dense fog.
Southern – East Fork Area Office
• In February, officer Sterwerf observed a group of boats fishing inside of the lock approach of the Meldahl Dam on the Ohio River. The officer called the group of boats over and showed the subject the sign that was directly over their heads that stated, “No fishing in lock approach.” As vessel safety checks were performed, the subject became verbally aggressive toward the officer. It was explained to the group that each boat was getting a citation for boating in a restricted area. The boaters became very angry and started questioning the officer in regards to the law. They were told the discussion was over and were given a court date when they could discuss the situation with the officer and the judge. One month later, the case went to a trial. One of the boaters presented his side of the case versus the officer’s side. According to the judge, it came down to a single piece of evidence: the officer presented a photo of the sign, which was directly over the area where the boats were fishing. A finding of guilty was handed down by the judge.
Southern – Scioto County Area Office
• While on patrol at Lake White State Park, watercraft officer Swinning observed a personal watercraft operating at greater than idle speed in a marked no-wake zone. The personal watercraft was occupied by a female operator and two juvenile males. Officer Swinning stopped the vessel and made contact with the operator, advising her of why she was stopped. A safety inspection was conducted, and it revealed that the operator had never completed a state required boating course, did not have on board registration/current documentation, and was in violation of operating the personal watercraft at greater than idle speed in a marked no-wake zone. Since the operator had not completed a state boating education course and due to the operator’s age, the people on the personal watercraft were advised by officer Swinning that they would be terminated from operation. The two juveniles and the operator boarded the patrol vessel. The three occupants and the watercraft were taken back to their private dock. The operator was given a citation.

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