Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars Report – October 7th, 2016
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• While working at Hoover Reservoir, state wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, observed two hydrobikes on the water. A male and female were riding on one of the hydrobikes, and the other was operated by a male. Officer Kiger observed two of the individuals fishing and noticed that none were wearing a personal flotation device. Further investigation revealed none of the individuals had a fishing license, and no PFDs were on the hydrobikes. Officer Kiger then discovered that the subjects had stolen the hydrobikes. The owner of the bikes was contacted and later met with officer Kiger. The owner chose not to press charges for the theft. Officer Kiger issued one subject a citation for not wearing a PFD, a second subject received a citation for fishing without a license, and the third subject received a citation for no fishing license and no PFD. The two subjects fishing without a license each received a $128 fine, and the fine for not wearing a PFD was $188.
• While on patrol at Kiser Lake, state wildlife officer Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, observed a man and small child in a raft with a trolling motor. The man and child motored around the lake. Only watercraft without motors are allowed on Kiser Lake. Officer Tipton contacted them and discovered that the small child was not wearing a personal flotation device, and no PFDs were in the raft. The man was issued a citation for operating a watercraft with a motor on Kiser Lake and another citation for operating a watercraft on Kiser Lake without a PFD. He paid a $175 for each offense in Champaign County Municipal Court.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• During the 2016 spring wild turkey season, state wildlife officer Anthony Lemle, assigned to Williams County, received a TIP call about a subject killing three turkeys. The information also stated that the subject had killed two of the turkeys in one day and had his girlfriend check one of the turkeys. A search of the license system showed that both individuals had checked in turkeys on the same date, and the two were killed only minutes apart. The subject’s girlfriend had also purchased her hunting license and turkey tag on that same date. Further investigation revealed the male suspect killed both turkeys and his girlfriend checked in one of them. The suspect was cited for providing false information to a check station and killing more than two bearded turkeys in one day. He was found guilty in court and paid $519 in fines and court costs.
• While patrolling Lake Erie in Lucas County, state wildlife investigator Brian Bury and state wildlife officer Tim Rourke observed a boat with one person trolling six rods. In Ohio anglers are allowed to fish with two rods at a time. The officers contacted the man and he informed the officers that he had caught a limit of walleyes. Officer Rourke boarded the man’s boat and found that the man actually had 14 walleyes, eight more than the limit. In addition, eight of the 14 walleyes measured less than the 15-inch minimum length. The man was issued citations for trolling too many rods, taking more than the daily limit of walleyes, and for taking walleyes less than 15 inches. Fines, court costs, and restitution totaled nearly $650.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• State wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a large number of dead carp and a large goldfish that were floating in a local tributary. Officer Moore arrived on scene and upon closer inspection noticed that the fish all appeared to have been shot with a bow and arrow. There were no suspects at the time. Later, another caller advised that an individual was hunting without permission on a property near the tributary and provided officer Moore with a vehicle license plate number. Officer Moore was able to identify the suspect. The name of the vehicle’s owner sounded familiar to officer Moore, and he called state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, for assistance. Officer Brown recognized the name as well as someone who was known to bowfish for carp. They met with the suspect and determined that he had dumped the carp in the tributary numerous times after killing them in bowfishing tournaments. In addition to the litter violation, the officers also learned that the man was squirrel hunting without permission. The hunter’s firearm was seized and the man was issued summonses for litter and hunting without written permission. He was convicted in court and paid $614 in fines and court costs. The rifle was returned to the hunter.
• On the opening day of deer gun season last year, state wildlife officer Kyle Queer, assigned to Carroll County, and state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, received a call about someone hunting without permission in Carroll County. The officers responded to the location and contacted a youth hunter. The boy stated that he had permission to hunt the property because his stepfather farmed it. He also stated that he had killed a doe and a buck, and his brother was waiting for him at the end of the farm lane. The officers followed the boy to where his brother was standing. They observed that the other boy was only wearing an orange stocking cap. The officers also observed that neither deer had a temporary tag attached to it. During the investigation the officers also learned that the boy had killed a buck earlier in the season and had his mother check the animal. Officer Turner then met with the landowner and the boy’s stepfather to explain the violations. The officers seized the antlered deer and cleared the scene. Officer Queer presented the violation report to the juvenile prosecutor for possible charges. The first boy was charged with taking two antlered deer, convicted, paid $300 in fines, and ordered to complete 40 hours of community service. The boy’s mother was charged for checking in the deer for her son. She was convicted and ordered to pay $300 in fines and costs. The boy hunting without the proper hunter orange clothing was charged, convicted, paid a $150 fine and was ordered to complete 20 hours of community service. All three individuals were required to take a hunter education course.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• While on patrol in Scioto County, state wildlife officer Hollie Fluharty made contact with three anglers along the Scioto River. They had caught and released several large catfish during a successful night of fishing. All individuals had a valid fishing license and were happy to be contacted by law enforcement.
• State wildlife officer Todd Stewart, assigned to Morgan County, and state wildlife officer supervisor Dan Perko were working a sport fishing project on American Electric Power property. While checking anglers on Hook Lake, a fishing area designated for use by those 15 and younger, they observed five people fishing. The officers contacted the group and found two of the individuals were adults. The two adults were cited for fishing in a youth-only area and for not having a valid fishing license. Fines and court costs were more than $400.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• Last April, state wildlife officer Jason Keller, assigned to Warren County, received an anonymous call from the 1-800-POACHER (1-800-762-2437) hotline about someone shooting two turkeys on the same day. The anonymous caller left a general location and a brief description of the suspect’s vehicle with the hotline operator, who then forwarded the information to officer Keller. Officer Keller patrolled the area and was able to locate a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle. Officer Keller walked to the house to contact the occupant and observed two turkey carcasses in a trash bin. Officer Keller contacted an individual. Further investigation revealed the suspect killed both turkeys. The suspect was subsequently charged for killing two turkeys in one day and not checking them. The suspect pleaded guilty in Warren County Court. The suspect paid $550 in fines and court costs and forfeited both turkeys.
Division of Watercraft
• While patrolling Delaware State Park Lake, an officer investigated a reckless operation complaint of a watercraft skiing next to a swim area. The officer located the vessel on the south end of the lake. The operator advised they were teaching a child to ski in the flatter water by the swim zone. A vessel safety inspection was conducted and the operator was warned for not having a daytime visual distress signal. The juvenile onboard the vessel was issued an ice cream coupon for wearing her life jacket. The operator was found to have a valid warrant out of Marion County. He was placed under arrest and was allowed to assist in removing his vessel from the lake. He was then taken into custody without incident.
• While patrolling Alum Creek State Park Lake, an officer observed a vessel being operated after sunset without navigation lights. The officer also noticed an inner tube with people on it was being towed behind the boat. The officer explained to the operator that he needed navigation lights on and that skiing/tubing after sunset is not allowed. The operator stated that he was on a rental boat and was running late to get the boat back on time. The operator said that he was unfamiliar with the navigation lights on the boat. The operator was issued a citation for operating a vessel while towing a skier/tuber after sunset. After finding out that the navigation lights were not functioning, the officer escorted the rental boat back to the Alum Creek Marina. He advised a marina employee that they needed to make sure the navigation lights on their rental boats are operational.
• Officers responded to Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve on a report of a female missing from a rafting trip on the Licking River. Local fire departments, emergency medical service, Parks and Watercraft, and the Licking County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the search. The victim could not be located but it was determined that the victim may not be in the area so the search was terminated for the night. Additional information was obtained the next day and the search resumed. The victim was located on a sandbar along the river by DNR officers and she was transported to Licking Memorial Hospital.
• An officer observed an individual that was swimming in a nondesignated area at A.W. Marion State Park. The officer made contact with the subject who was using an unregistered inflatable raft. The two occupants of the raft were in possession of alcohol. The officer charged one suspect for swimming in a nondesignated area and for the alcohol violation. The second suspect was charged for the alcohol violation and given a warning for failure to register the raft.
• Officers conducted a law enforcement exercise on the Hocking River in Hocking County. Seven citations for alcohol violations were issued and two were issued for littering. Six visual inspections were completed. Word spread very quickly that law enforcement was on the river.