Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — April 14, 2017

Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1

• During the statewide deer gun season, state wildlife officer Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, received information about a hunting blind located behind a residence where a caller suspected a hunter was hunting after legal shooting hours with the aid of an ATV. Officer Tipton drove by the residence and saw the ATV parked at the blind. Nearly an hour after sunset, officer Tipton approached the blind with a flashlight and observed a hunter with a loaded shotgun. Officer Tipton retrieved the shotgun and unloaded three deer slugs. Looking inside the blind, he could see a cooler in front of the man. Further investigation revealed the hunter had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages while in the blind. After conducting field sobriety tests, the man was charged with hunting deer after hours and possessing weapons while intoxicated. He appeared in court and was ordered to pay almost $400 in fines and court costs, sentenced to five days in jail that were suspended, and given 12 months probation and ordered to not consume alcohol for the period of probation.

• State wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, was contacted by the Gang Task Force concerning Facebook pictures of a deer posted by a known gang member. Officer Kiger and state wildlife officer Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, went to the suspect’s last known address along with a Columbus police officer. Further investigation revealed a suspect with a valid hunting license and deer permit killed a deer, but did not game check the animal. The suspect was later charged with removing the game tag before getting a confirmation number, removing the head and hide before getting a confirmation number, and failure to check the deer in. The suspect was found guilty in court, paid $338 in fines and court costs, and the suspect’s hunting license was revoked.

Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2

• Last summer, Lake Erie investigator Jason Hadsell and state wildlife officer Robert Nelson, assigned to Ross County, were patrolling the waters north of Lorain Harbor checking angler compliance with regulations. The officers stopped a vessel, and two people onboard did not have a valid fishing license. The adult individual was written a summons for no fishing license and a report was created for the juvenile individual’s violation report. After speaking with those two individuals, officer Nelson and investigator Hadsell began checking vessels returning to the boat ramp. Investigator Hadsell observed a vessel with two anglers having difficulty attempting to dock, so he tied the bow line off to help. Investigator Hadsell asked the fishermen if he could come into the boat and look at their catch, and the fishermen said yes. He boarded the boat and looked into the cooler, where it was immediately apparent that there was at least one walleye shorter than the 15-inch minimum. Investigator Hadsell measured all the caught fish and found three short walleyes in the cooler. He confiscated the fish and wrote each man a summons for the short walleyes. When officer Nelson and investigator Hadsell left the boat ramp for the day, they had issued four summons for short walleye, and two violations for no fishing license. Close to $850 was paid in court for the four short walleye violations and there is still a warrant out for the man with no fishing license.

• During deer gun season, state wildlife officer Matt Smith, assigned to Defiance County, and wildlife officer supervisor Greg Wade patrolled Paulding County. While on patrol, the officers noticed three trucks parked back along a farm lane. When officer Smith looked toward the vehicles, he could see a hunter in orange standing just inside the woods near the trucks. The officers traveled down the lane and made contact the hunter. After speaking with the hunter, further investigation by officer Smith revealed he was using an illegal rifle cartridge. The man was also asked about a deer carcass the officers had noticed in the bed of one of the trucks. After speaking with the man, the officers learned that the deer in the truck had not been checked in and it was the man’s second buck of the season. Three summonses were issued to the man and the deer meat and antlers were seized. The man was found guilty in Paulding County court and ordered to pay $750 in fines and court costs.

Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3

• State wildlife officer Brennan Earick, assigned to Ashland County, was patrolling Killbuck Marsh State Wildlife Area one evening when he observed a vehicle parked in the middle of the road with the lights off. As officer Earick approached, the vehicle began to drive away. Officer Earick followed and was able to stop the vehicle down the road. Upon reaching the vehicle, officer Earick noticed that the driver’s eyes appeared to be bloodshot and watery. While officer Earick was talking to the three men in the vehicle, he observed an open beer can on the driver’s side as well as another open beer can between the passenger’s feet. Officer Earick also noticed a cooler in the back seat, and was given permission to inspect it. He discovered several unopened beer cans inside. The driver and backseat passenger were charged with possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle and ordered to appear in Wooster court. The men were convicted and paid $276 in fines and costs.

Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4

• In November 2016, state wildlife officers Allen Patton, assigned to Athens County, and Chris Dodge, assigned to Hocking County, were working an area in Athens County with several spotlighting complaints. Around 9 p.m. they witnessed a light coming from the passenger side of a vehicle. However, the light was infrared and could only be seen with night vision technology. Officers Patton and Dodge approached the men, and further investigation revealed a loaded pistol in the backseat with a night vision scope and a mounted suppressor. Six additional firearms were found inside the cab of the truck, and a dead deer was found in the bed of the truck. The pistol was seized along with all of the attachments, the night vision scope, and the infrared amplifier flashlight. The suspects were taken to bond out since they were from out of state. They paid more than $1,300 in fines and court costs, and more than $8,000 in equipment was seized and forfeited.

• In November 2016, state wildlife officer Jared Abele, assigned to Vinton County, received information about a group of individuals who had been killing deer illegally. State wildlife investigators Heath Horn and Travis Abele assisted officer Abele at a residence where the suspects resided. The officers interviewed three suspects and obtained consent to search the residence. Multiple packages of illegally harvested deer meat and whole deer quarters were found in a large chest freezer. Further investigation by the officers revealed two of the suspects had been spotlighting from a vehicle and shot five deer on five different days during October. Officer Abele seized a rifle and multiple packages of venison from the suspects. Three suspects were issued summonses for multiple wildlife offenses. Two of the suspects appeared in a Vinton County court and pleaded guilty to 10 charges. They were ordered to pay fines, court costs, restitution, and other fees totaling $4,370. They also received a one-year hunting license revocation, one year of non-reporting probation, and forfeited the rifle to the state. The third suspect was issued one summons and paid a $122 waiver for the offense.

Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5

• Last spring, state wildlife officer Austin Levering, assigned to Mercer County, was conducting a routine patrol during the spring turkey season when he encountered a truck parked alongside the road in Mercer County. Upon inspecting the vehicle, officer Levering discovered multiple containers of poultry feed. Shortly thereafter, officer Levering observed a man dressed in camouflage clothing and carrying a shotgun walking out of the woods back to the truck. Officer Levering contacted the hunter and confirmed the hunter had a valid hunting license and spring turkey permit. Officer Levering asked the hunter if he could walk him back to the location where he was turkey hunting. The hunter complied and led officer Levering to his hunting location. Further investigation revealed a large pile of poultry feed approximately 30 yards from the ground blind. State wildlife officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, arrived and assisted officer Levering with the investigation and processing of evidence. Subsequently, the hunter was issued a citation for hunting spring turkeys over a baited area. The hunter’s firearm was seized as evidence and the judge in Celina Municipal Court suspended his hunting privileges for one year from the date of violation.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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