Ohio Cuffs & Collars – November 6th, 2015

Division of Wildlife

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• While working a project at Dillon Wildlife Area, state wildlife officer Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, observed a woman sink a beer can into the Licking River. State wildlife officers John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, and Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, contacted her group as they exited the river. While making the contact, a bag containing marijuana that belonged to the woman’s husband was found. The woman was issued a summons for stream litter, and her husband was issued a summons for possessing marijuana. The woman paid $320 and her husband paid $164 in fines and court costs. The man had his driver’s license suspended for six months.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• State wildlife officers Eric VonAlmen, assigned to Hancock County, and Ryan Kennedy, assigned to Hardin County, were working a sport fishing enforcement project during the Independence Day weekend. The officers encountered a subject who was in possession of a walleye shorter than 15 inches. During the contact, the subject explained to officer VonAlmen that he knew officer Kennedy, and that he had helped him on numerous occasions. Officer Kennedy listened intently, directly in front of the man, but was unrecognized by him. The officers issued the subject a citation for the short walleye. Officer Kennedy did remember the subject, because he had given him a citation from a previous incident.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• While working along the Lake Erie shoreline in Cleveland, state wildlife officer Scott Denamen, assigned Geauga County, and state wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Cuyahoga County, contacted two men along the rock breakwall. One individual was observed fishing and produced a valid fishing license. The other man stated he wasn’t fishing and indicated that he didn’t know if he needed a license to fish. Officer Donnelly advised him that a fishing license was required and provided him information on how to obtain one. Later in the evening, officer Denamen and officer Donnelly returned to the location where they had contacted the two individuals. The man who had stated that he wasn’t fishing was now doing so from the rock breakwall. The officers approached him and asked if he had purchased his license. The man indicated that he did not buy a fishing license. He was issued a summons for the violation and ordered to appear in Cleveland Municipal Court. The case is currently pending.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• In September, state wildlife officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, was investigating illegal ginseng harvesters. While driving through Tri-Valley Wildlife Area, he noticed a vehicle parked in a location where he had arrested someone in August for ginseng violations. Officer Berry watched as three individuals approached the vehicle. Officer Berry identified himself and asked the individuals what they were doing. They replied that they were looking for a place to hunt, and informed officer Berry there were water bottles in a backpack. Further investigation revealed ginseng was in the backpack. Officer Berry asked the individuals about the rules pertaining to ginseng, to which they replied they were not sure, and had only been searching for it a couple of times. The individuals stated they did not know it was illegal to harvest ginseng on state property. Officer Berry explained to the individuals the rules and regulations pertaining to harvesting ginseng, and that it was their responsibility to know them. A search of the backpack resulted in 117 freshly dug ginseng roots, and approximately 37 ginseng berries. The individuals pleaded no contest, were ordered to pay fines as a group totaling $1,325, and were court ordered not to harvest, buy, sell, or possess ginseng for five years.

• During the 2014 deer hunting season, state wildlife officer Matt VanCleve received a complaint stating that a man in Pike County had untagged deer hanging from a tree in his front yard. Officer VanCleve went to the location and found two untagged deer hanging in the tree, just as the caller described. Officer VanCleve made contact with the homeowner, who said that a group of hunters from North Carolina had given him the two deer. The man stated he had not killed the deer, but he could not provide any legal tag, seal, or certificate for the deer. Officer VanCleve issued the man two tickets for possession of untagged deer parts.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• In early September, state wildlife investigator Kevin Behr, state wildlife officer Matt Roberts, assigned to Clinton County, and state wildlife investigator Joel Buddelmeyer arrived at a complaint property to observe hunting activity. A short time later, the officers observed two vehicles drive onto the property. Three men loaded hunting gear, including shotguns, into an all-terrain vehicle and drove off. The officers lost sight of the hunters, but occasionally heard shots fired. Eventually, investigator Buddelmeyer saw the hunters dressed in hunter orange vests and caps. The three hunters went to a barn and began field-dressing pheasants. The hunters then changed clothes and began dove hunting. All three men killed doves near a place where sunflower seeds had been set out. Investigator Buddelmeyer observed one of the hunters shoot a dove that was perched on a utility wire. The hunter retrieved the dove and placed it into his bucket. Field supervisor Rick Rogers and state wildlife officer Jim Carnes, assigned to Highland County, were called by the officers in the field to inspect the three hunters for hunting licenses and bag limit compliance. Further investigation revealed one of the hunters had purchased pheasants to be released to train and hunt with his bird dog. Additionally, all three suspects were hunting doves over a baited field, and one placed the sunflower seeds on the ground. All three were issued a summons for hunting doves over bait, and one hunter was also issued an additional summons for shooting a dove from a utility wire. The same hunter was warned and educated about the requirement to have a dog training grounds permit from the DNR Division of Wildlife in order to shoot pheasants during the closed season.

Division of Watercraft

Northeast – Akron Area Office

• In September, a watercraft officer was at the State Route 88 Causeway ramp on Mosquito Lake (Trumbull County) and observed a vessel making a wake traveling around the breakwall into the ramp area. Once the operator docked his vessel, the officer approached him on land. The operator did not have an answer to the violation, but did state it was his neighbor’s boat. A vessel safety check was conducted on the vessel, and it was discovered that the operator did not have the registration paperwork on board, or enough life jackets. He had only two adult life jackets and two child life jackets for the four adults on board. When asked for the justification of this violation, he stated that he was just in a hurry when they left. The operator was then issued a citation for insufficient amount of personal flotation devices on board the vessel and provided a warning for the other violation. The operator was cooperative and paid the $124 fine to the court.

Central – Alum Creek Area Office

• In September, while on patrol at Alum Creek Reservoir, a watercraft officer observed a watercraft operating after sunset without navigation lights displayed. Sunset was at 7:43 p.m., and the officer observed the violation at 8:27 p.m. The officer made contact with the vessel at the New Galena boat ramp and explained to the operator that he needed to have his navigation lights displayed after sunset. The officer then began a vessel safety check for required equipment. Upon completion of the vessel safety check, the following violations were found: 1) insufficient personal flotation devices for each person on board; 2) no throwable personal flotation device; 3) no distress signal; 4) no registration paperwork on board; 5) no boating education certificate; and 6) no anchor. The operator had three people on board his vessel and only one life jacket. The officer issued the operator a citation under Ohio Revised Code section 1547.25, for operating a vessel without a sufficient amount of approved life jackets for each person on board the vessel. Warnings were given for all other violations. The operator pleaded guilty, and paid $160 in fines and court costs.

Southwest – Wapakoneta Area Office

• Watercraft officers were patrolling Indian Lake when they received a call from the Logan County Sheriff’s Office about a man who fell into the water from a boat and was pulled to shore near Acheson’s Resort. Upon arriving on the scene, the subject was already being treated by EMS. After speaking to the subject and witnesses, it was concluded that the subject was highly intoxicated and had jumped into the lake on his own to wade to shore. While wading to shore, the subject came across a deep hole and started struggling to stay afloat. Observers nearby pulled him to shore. The subject was transported to Mary Rutan Hospital by Indian Lake EMS. The subject was cited for public intoxication and paid fines and court costs of $150.

Southwest – Springfield Area Office

• In August, several DNR officers attended the annual duck blind drawing at Buck Creek State Park. All blinds were drawn and accounted for. Several boating safety/regulation questions were asked and answered for all people attending. Hunters who were awarded blinds were reminded of rules and regulations for the upcoming season.

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