Centerville man hit with large fines for poaching deer

Pataskala, Ohio — One individual from Centerville, Ohio, received fines, restitution, and a hunting license suspension for killing an antlered white-tailed deer illegally, according to the Ohio DNR.

The man was prosecuted by assistant Licking County prosecutor Michael King, and sentenced in Licking County Municipal Court by Judge David N. Stansbury on May 3.

In November of 2014 the DNR Division of Wildlife was contacted by a concerned citizen advising that individuals were engaging in illegal hunting activities on property owned by the City of Columbus near Pataskala. Investigators traveled to the property and inspected the area. During the inspection of the property, they discovered a hunting blind adjacent to a fresh pile of corn and observed footprints in the snow coming from a nearby apartment complex to the ground blind. Additionally, while inspecting the property, they observed a man carrying a bucket of corn walk back to the bait site. Investigators were able to track the man from the bait site to the apartment complex, where he was later identified as Christopher A. Piguet.

Investigators subsequently checked the DNR Division of Wildlife’s licensing system and it revealed that Piguet had killed a 14-point deer on Jan. 16, 2015. Investigators then returned to the bait site where they found evidence that a deer had been killed. Investigators collected the evidence and continued to surveil the area for several days, documenting Piguet hunting the property on multiple occasions. During this time it was discovered that Piguet was also hunting without a valid deer permit.

A total of nine third-degree misdemeanor charges were filed in Licking County Municipal Court. The charges included six counts of hunting without permission, one count of hunting without a valid deer permit, one count of failing to immediately attach a game tag to a deer, and one count of possessing deer parts taken unlawfully. Piguet pleaded guilty to all nine charges on May 3.

Anyone observing or suspecting that wildlife violations are occurring may report illegal activity by calling the TIP hotline toll free at 1-800-POACHER.

The defendant, charges, and sentences are:

Christopher A. Piguet, 44, of Centerville, Ohio, was convicted of six counts of hunting without permission (third-degree misdemeanors), one count of hunting without a valid deer permit (third-degree misdemeanor), one count of failing to immediately attach a game tag to a deer (third-degree misdemeanor), and possession of deer parts taken unlawfully (third degree misdemeanor). He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,128.30, and fines in the amount of $900. He received 180 days in jail that were suspended, was placed on probation for a period of one year, and his hunting rights were suspended for three years. He was also ordered to forfeit a compound bow and cell phone, which were both used in the commission of these crimes. The deer mount was also forfeited.

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