Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – June 23, 2017
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• During the 2016 deer gun season, state wildlife officer Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, and state wildlife investigator Chris Rice were on patrol in Knox County. Shortly after dark, information was received from the Turn-In-A-Poacher hotline indicating that a vehicle was observed jacklighting from the roadway. The caller was able to obtain a vehicle description as well as a license plate number. The officers responded to the area and soon spotted a vehicle matching the description provided by the caller. As the vehicle passed the officers, spotlights in the vehicle were turned on, illuminating the nearby fields. A traffic stop and further investigation by the officers revealed that the two occupants were shining for wild animals and had a loaded 12-gauge shotgun in their possession. It was also determined that the driver of the vehicle was under the influence of alcohol. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded, arresting the driver for OVI. The passenger was arrested for multiple wildlife charges. Several hundred dollars in fines and fees were paid for the wildlife violations, and the firearm and other equipment used in the violation were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife.
• During a youth trout derby event at Eyman Park, state wildlife officer John Coffman, assigned to Fayette County, received a complaint about an adult fishing during youth hours. Officer Coffman witnessed the man reel in two trout and place them into a basket. Officer Coffman contacted the man, who admitted to catching all eight trout in the basket. The man was issued a summons for over the bag limit on trout and was ordered to pay $125 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• In fall 2016, state wildlife officer Reid Van Cleve, assigned to Ottawa County, was checking anglers at Mazurik boat access and made contact with a fisherman who was walking to his vehicle. Officer Van Cleve asked to see the man’s license and the fish he had caught that day. While walking to the vehicle, the fisherman stated he had caught close to his limit of yellow perch and four walleyes. When Officer Van Cleve looked at the fish, it was clear that all four walleyes were under the legal limit of 15 inches from Lake Erie. Officer Van Cleve issued the man a summons for undersized walleyes. The man was found guilty in court and was ordered to pay fines and court costs.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• While on patrol during the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Nick Turner, assigned to Harrison County, received a call from a landowner who observed three men enter his property without permission. Officer Turner and state wildlife officer field supervisor Eric Bear arrived at the property and located three men on the property, all carrying firearms. The officers checked the hunters’ information through the license database and learned that all three individuals had already harvested their yearly bag limit of two deer in Harrison County. All three men were issued summonses for hunting without permission and attempting to take more than two deer in Harrison County. They appeared in court, were convicted, and paid over $870 in fines and court costs.
• While patrolling during the deer gun season, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, observed two hunters in the field, one of whom was carrying two firearms. He contacted the men and determined that one man was carrying a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and a loaded .22 caliber rifle. The individual explained that he was carrying the rifle in case he came across any coyotes while hunting that afternoon. Officer Brown explained that it was a violation to carry two firearms while deer hunting and to hunt or take a coyote with a firearm other than one permitted during the gun seasons. The hunter was given one summons for carrying two firearms while deer hunting. The man pleaded guilty in Wayne County Municipal Court and paid $138 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• This spring, a group of off-duty state wildlife officers from North Carolina were hunting on a private farm in Meigs County when they heard a gunshot. Knowing they were the only ones with permission to hunt the farm, they began to look for the shooter, and discovered three individuals hunting without permission on the property. After being provided information about the situation, state wildlife officer Chris Gilkey, assigned to Meigs County, responded to the area and located the three individuals. All three were charged with hunting without permission, and one was also charged with failing to temporarily tag a turkey he had killed that day. The case is currently pending in court.
• State wildlife officer Darin Abbott, assigned to Lawrence County, received a call through the TIP hotline from a concerned sportsman about deer poaching near his property. The caller had witnessed two suspects shoot a deer and drive away with the deer in their truck. The caller was able to get a vehicle description and a license plate number before the suspects drove away. After meeting with the caller, officer Abbott was able to make contact with both suspects. Each was charged with multiple violations, including jacklighting, hunting with the aid or use of a motor vehicle, illegal possession of a white-tailed deer, and aiding another in a wildlife violation. The shooter paid approximately $500 in fines and court costs and lost his hunting privileges for one year. The passenger paid approximately $300 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• While on patrol one day, state wildlife officer Brad Turner, assigned to Preble County, was checking duck hunters at Rush Run Lake. In the last group officer Turner checked, he found that one of the men didn’t have an Ohio Wetlands Habitat Stamp. When officer Turner asked him why he didn’t have one, the man told officer Turner that he has never bought one. Officer Turner issued him a summons for the violation. The man later appeared in court and paid $145 in fines and court costs.