Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• In December 2016, state wildlife officer Maurice Irish, assigned to Delaware County, was dispatched to Hoover Reservoir in response to information submitted to the Turn-In-a-Poacher hotline. A witness reported that two individuals had caught a large amount of crappies, transported them to a vehicle, and then returned to catch more fish. Upon arrival, officer Irish located the suspects near the bridge preparing to leave. As officer Irish approached, one of the individuals attempted to dump a large sack of fish back into the water, but was unsuccessful. Further investigation by officer Irish revealed another large burlap sack containing crappies in the suspect’s vehicle. Once the fish were counted, it was determined that one individual was 25 fish over the legal limit and the other was 27 fish over the legal limit. A large portion of the crappies were also under the legal length limit of 9 inches. Both individuals were found guilty in Delaware County Municipal Court and paid $320 in fines and court costs.
• In late February, state wildlife officer Jeff Tipton, assigned to Champaign County, was contacted by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office about an individual hunting without permission. Deputy John McNeely and officer Tipton responded and found three men who had been rabbit hunting. The men had been hunting near a set of railroad tracks, which they did not have permission to be on, and at least one of them had gone on to a private landowner’s property. All three men were issued citations for hunting without permission and one man received an additional citation for hunting without a hunting license. All three were found guilty in court, and in total the men paid $950 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• During the spring walleye fishing season, Lake Erie investigator Cody Klima and state wildlife officer Eric VonAlmen, assigned to Wood County, contacted a group of fishermen at Meinke’s Marina in Lucas County. Further investigation by the officers revealed that the men had 13 walleyes, one over their daily limit. Of those 13 fish, two were under the legal size limit of 15 inches, and one of the men was fishing without a fishing license. All three men were issued summonses for the violations.
• This spring, while working the annual Maumee River walleye run, state wildlife officers Jason Porinchok, assigned to Putnam County, and Brad Buening, assigned to Van Wert County, received a call from the TIP hotline. The caller stated that two individuals had caught their daily bag limit of four walleyes and had left the river, only to return a half-hour later to catch more fish. With the information from the caller, the officers located the two fishermen, who were then observed catching three additional walleyes each. Officers Buening and Porinchok made contact with the two fishermen and determined that both men were three fish over their daily bag limit. Both were cited in Maumee court and each paid fines and court costs of $189.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, and state wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, were patrolling the Portage Lakes in April. Due to the warm weather, many people were out enjoying the outdoors. Most contacts the officers made were positive, and no violations were discovered. Later in the afternoon, the officers changed locations and observed three men fishing and drinking beer. Further observation by the officers revealed the men left trash and waste at their fishing location, leaving all of their beer cans, used fishing line, and bait containers. All three individuals were issued summonses for litter and one individual was charged with fishing without a valid fishing license. All three men appeared in Barberton Municipal Court and were convicted. The individual who was fishing without a license was ordered to pay fines and costs totaling $351 for the litter and fishing license violations. The other men were each ordered to pay $244 in fines and costs. In addition, all three individuals completed eight hours of community service.
• During last year’s early teal season, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, state wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, and state wildlife officer supervisor Eric Bear were patrolling the marshes of Wayne County when they received a report that two individuals were suspected of shooting wood ducks during the closed season. Officer Bear observed the men shooting at wood ducks as they flew by. Eventually the two men left the marsh and were contacted by officers Brown and Moore. The investigation revealed that they had shot several wood ducks, breasted them out, and discarded the carcasses in the marsh. The duck breasts were then placed in a plastic bag and concealed in one of the hunter’s waders. The men were charged with taking wood ducks during the closed season, hunting waterfowl with an unplugged shotgun, and possession of waterfowl without a fully feathered head or wing attached. Both men were convicted in Orrville Municipal Court and paid $426 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• State wildlife officer Ryan Donnelly, assigned to Washington County, and state wildlife officer Marino Pellegrini, assigned to Lake County, were patrolling Grand River Wildlife Area during the early teal season. The officers contacted a group of hunters, and while officer Pellegrini was checking licenses and stamps, officer Donnelly looked around the hunters’ blind. Near the blind, officer Donnelly discovered a hen wood duck, which was not in season at the time, stuffed under a log. A hunter in the group admitted that he had shot the wood duck when he mistook it for a teal, and attempted to hide the duck. The hunter was issued a summons for taking a wood duck out of season and paid $275 in fines and court costs.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• Last November before Ohio’s deer gun season, an anonymous caller contacted state wildlife officer Jim Carnes, assigned to Highland County, with information about a man who had shot a 10-point buck with a shotgun from his front yard and subsequently posted pictures of the deer on the internet. Based on this information, officer Carnes and state wildlife investigator Joel Buddelmeyer went to the suspect’s residence and spoke with the man. Initially, the man insisted that he had shot the deer from the ground with a bow. After further questioning, the man admitted to shooting the buck with a .20 gauge shotgun after coming home from work and seeing the buck in a field next to his residence. The man was charged for the illegal method of harvesting the deer. He appeared in Hillsboro Municipal Court before Judge David McKenna and pleaded guilty to the violation. Judge McKenna ordered him to pay a $500 fine with $250 being suspended, 60 days in jail suspended, two years of probation, forfeiture of the deer, and also revoked his hunting privileges for three years.