Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – July 1st, 2016
Division of Wildlife
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• State wildlife officers Tyler Eldred and Jeff Tipton were working sport-fishing enforcement in May at Alum Creek Lake. The officers noticed three people on the east side of the lake and believed they were fishing. The officers approached the group and found two men and one woman, but only one of the men was fishing at the time. The officers checked the fishing license of the first man, and then asked the other two if they had been fishing. Both said that they had not. The officers left the group and went to the other side of the lake. The officers then watched as the second man began to fish. The officers returned and asked to see the second man’s fishing license, which he did not have. The man was issued a citation for fishing without a license. He later paid a $160 fine.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• While working sport-fishing enforcement at Schoonover Lake in Allen County, state wildlife officer Craig Barr was approached by two men inquiring about what kind of fish were in the lake. Officer Barr informed them about the lake and explained that they would need a fishing license for Schoonover Lake and all other public waters in Allen County. One of the men said that he liked to catch crappies and wondered where they could find some. Officer Barr informed them that a few had recently been caught at Lima Lake, and gave them a few other crappie spots to check out. The two men were told of a nearby license vendor. Approximately 40 minutes later, officer Barr observed the two men fishing at Lima Lake. Officer Barr contacted the men, and they had not purchased their fishing licenses. They were both issued citations for fishing without a license and ordered to appear in Lima Municipal Court.
• During the 2015 deer-gun season, state wildlife officer Cody Klima, assigned to Wood County, received a complaint about spotlighting and shooting deer from a vehicle. The location was identified as a property with a deer damage permit. Officer Klima investigated and recovered an untagged buck as well as second illegal buck that had been shot and tagged with a deer damage permit, but was not properly disposed of. Three individuals were charged in the incident and the deer damage permit has been suspended indefinitely.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• During the deer-gun season, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, was contacted regarding someone hunting without permission. Officer Frank arrived at the residence and was provided a trail camera photograph of one of the trespassers. A quick check found the suspect hunting the property again, dressed in the same clothing as in the trail camera photograph. Officer Frank observed another hunter on an adjacent property and contacted him as well. Each man possessed a hunting license and a deer permit. Officer Frank then walked with the hunters back to their vehicle. While he was standing near the bed of the truck, officer Frank noticed what appeared to be deer blood on the tailgate. He issued one of the men a summons for hunting without permission and released them. The officer then returned to the landowner’s residence, where he was provided another photograph of the two suspects dragging a deer. Officer Frank returned to the woods and located evidence of two harvested deer. Later that day, he drove to the suspect’s residence and uncovered two untagged deer hanging inside the garage. Both deer were killed on the complainant’s property a day earlier and had not been permanently checked. The deer were seized as evidence, and both men were issued summonses for the wildlife violations. The two men appeared in court, were convicted, and ordered to pay fines and court costs exceeding $1,300. The deer were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
• While on patrol during the deer-gun season, state wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, and state wildlife investigator Rick Louttit observed two hunters dragging a deer along a set of railroad tracks toward their vehicle. Officer Louttit exited the vehicle to contact the hunters. As officer Moore drove away, investigator Louttit saw one hunter empty five shells from his shotgun. Investigator Louttit approached them and asked where they had shot the deer. The two individuals were unable to provide the name of the landowner and stated that they had dragged the deer for several hundred yards down the railroad tracks. They were also in possession of shot shells. The two men were issued summonses for hunting without permission, hunting with a shotgun loaded with more than three shells, and possession of shot shells. They were convicted in court and paid more than $400 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
During the winter, state wildlife officer Eric Lane was patrolling Perry County, checking ice anglers, when he noticed an individual on Clouse Lake. Officer Lane walked to the center of the lake to make contact with the angler. Officer Lane checked to make sure the angler had only the legal number of tip-ups and that they had the user’s name and address on them. One of the tip-ups indicated a fish on the line while the officer was checking the angler’s fishing license. The angler pulled a 5-pound bass through the ice. Officer Lane handed the license back to the angler. The angler said he had a camera and asked if officer Lane would take his picture. Officer Lane took a picture and the angler then released the fish.
• In May, state wildlife officer Brian Baker observed an individual fishing on Piedmont Lake in Belmont County. The individual unloaded a basket of fish and a cooler from his boat, and officer Baker made contact with him on shore. The individual had several saugeyes in his basket, as well as other fish. Officer Baker opened the cooler and removed a white bag. Inside the bag was a saugeye that was under the legal length limit of 15 inches. A check of the boat registration revealed that it had expired in March 2016, and a wildlife violation records check showed that the individual had previously been cited for overharvesting saugeyes in 2015. The individual pleaded guilty to possession of a short saugeye and was found guilty. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, all suspended, and was ordered to pay $265 in fines and court costs. He was also placed on one year of probation and cannot purchase a fishing license for one year.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• State wildlife officer Scott Cartwright, assigned to Adams County, was on patrol at night when he received a call about someone spotlighting wild animals from a motor vehicle and firing gunshots. Officer Cartwright responded and found a truck in a field. He made contact with four individuals inside the truck. One of the occupants was holding a high-powered rifle. A shotgun, compound bow, and a spotlight were also observed in the truck. Further investigation revealed that one of the occupants was spotlighting and had fired twice. Another occupant was also spotlighting. One of the occupants was charged with spotlighting and not having a hunting license. That individual was fined $117, received one year of probation, and is required to take a hunter education course. The second individual was charged with spotlighting, was fined $578, and received one year of probation. The rifle, shotgun, and spotlight were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
Division of Watercraft
• While patrolling the Ottawa River, watercraft officers observed a personal watercraft with numerous violations. The personal watercraft was being operated after later than one-half hour after sunset and pulling an inner tube, both of which are violations of Ohio law. The operator was creating a wake in a no-wake zone and was wearing a life jacket that was completely unzipped. While the officers advised that the two occupants of the tube needed to board the personal watercraft as it is illegal to pull a tube after dark, the operator had difficulty keeping his balance and capsized the vessel. As officers assisted the passengers onto the personal watercraft, they immediately noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from the operator. Officers determined that the operator was intoxicated and towed the vessel to shore where the operator was arrested for operating a vessel under the influence. The operator was also in violation of the mandatory boater education law, which requires anyone born after 1982 to take a safe boating course before operating a vessel powered by more than 10 horsepower. The operator was given 30 days of probation, more than $240 in fines, and was required to take a boater education course through the Ohio Division of Parks and Watercraft.
• While patrolling the beach at Maumee Bay State Park, a watercraft officer observed two duck hunters having engine trouble. The officer asked if they were okay and the hunters replied that they were not going to make it back to the ramp because their engine was stalling. The officer then gave the hunters a ride back to the ramp to retrieve their truck and boat trailer and followed them back to Maumee Bay State Park, where he assisted them in lifting the boat onto the trailer. The hunters were very appreciative of the assistance.
• While patrolling the walleye run in early March on the Maumee River, watercraft officers observed a 16-foot vessel approaching Orleans boat ramp. The vessel was improperly displaying registration numbers and a passenger was dragging his feet in the water as the vessel was under way. Upon stopping the vessel, the officers conducted a vessel safety inspection that revealed the following violations: no registration paperwork and no fire extinguisher, no throwable life jacket, and no distress flag. There was only one life jacket for the three occupants on board. During the inspection, officers noted an anchor and line tied to the stern of the vessel; officers immediately notified the occupants that tying an anchor to the stern of a vessel is extremely dangerous and could lead to capsizing, especially in fast-moving water. The operator was issued a citation for operating a vessel without having sufficient equipment and paid a $128 fine.
• While patrolling Cullen Park in Toledo, a watercraft officer observed a vessel strike the green channel buoy as he was approaching the dock. The officer met the vessel at the ramp and started to perform a vessel safety inspection. During the inspection, the officer noticed several clues that the operator of the vessel might be impaired. At the conclusion of the inspection, the officer asked the operator if he had consumed any alcoholic beverages. The operator admitted to drinking one beer before launching the vessel. Field sobriety tests confirmed that the operator had consumed a few more than just one beer. The operator was arrested for operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol. Test results on the operator’s urine came back as 0.316, which is well over double the legal limit to operate a vessel. The operator payed a $250 fine and court costs at Toledo Municipal Court and served three days in jail.
• While patrolling the Maumee River in early spring, a watercraft officer observed three men launching a narrow 14-foot aluminum boat at the Maple Street Boat Ramp in Wood County. As the men backed the boat into the water, the boat slid off the trailer and floated away into the river. There was no rope attached to the bow of the boat for them to retrieve it and it began to float downriver. The watercraft officer ran along shore with the boat and used a rescue throw bag to retrieve it. After getting the boat back, the three men attempted to get in it. The boat was clearly overloaded. The cold water temperatures and swift current made the situation particularly unsafe. The watercraft officer conducted a safety inspection and advised the fishermen of the capacity limits of their vessel and the dangers of capsizing in cold water. One of the men agreed to stay on shore while the other two fished.