Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – July 21, 2017
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• During Memorial Day weekend, state wildlife officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, and state wildlife officer Brad Kiger, assigned to Franklin County, were checking anglers at Hoover Reservoir. The reservoir and boat ramps were very busy that day, and officers Budd and Kiger spent most of their day at Baldridge boat ramp. During the course of the day, three fishermen were cited for stream litter. They were ordered to appear in court, and a warrant has been issued for their arrest after not appearing. Additionally, three other fishermen were cited for fishing without a license, and ordered to pay $160 in fines and court costs.
• In April, state wildlife officer Michael Budd, assigned to Knox County, received information from Ohio’s Turn-In-a-Poacher hotline regarding a turkey killed on private property without permission. The caller stated two individuals had parked, exited the truck, and shot a turkey on her property without permission. Additionally, the caller was able to provide a description of the truck and the license plate number. During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that the truck was driven by a local high school student. When officer Budd contacted the individual regarding the incident, the suspect had just returned from a morning hunt where he had killed a turkey, which had not been tagged. The suspect stated he had forgotten his turkey tag at home and went hunting without it that morning. Ohio law requires that hunters carry their turkey tag with them while hunting turkey. When asked about the trespassing complaint, the suspect stated he and a friend had gone hunting on a property he believed was owned by another friend’s grandmother. He stated he had contacted his friend, and asked for permission to hunt the property prior to hunting that morning. It was later discovered the suspect’s friend had showed him the wrong property. After hearing the whole story, the landowner decided against pressing charges for hunting without permission. The suspect was issued a citation for failing to carry his turkey tag in the field. Warnings were given for failing to temporary tag and hunting without permission.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• During the 2017 walleye run, state wildlife officer Matthew Leibengood, assigned to Sandusky County, state wildlife officer Kelsey Brockman, assigned to Erie County, and a Sandusky County sheriff’s deputy responded to a report of people using nets to catch fish in the closed-to-fishing area of the Sandusky River, near the Ballville Dam. Two men were identified as having taken fish from the river with cast nets and both were found to be in possession of more than the daily limit of walleye. Both men were charged with taking more than the daily limit of walleye and taking game fish with a cast net. Each individual paid $490 in fines and court costs, were ordered to serve two years non-reporting probation, and five days in jail that were suspended. Twenty-one walleyes, six suckers, five common carp, eight quillback, and two cast nets were forfeited to the DNR Division of Wildlife as evidence.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• Late one evening, state wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, and state wildlife officer Eric Moore, assigned to Medina County, were checking on complaints of people driving off road at the Killbuck Marsh Wildlife Area. Officers Brown and Moore were traveling together when they observed a vehicle parked in an off-road area. As the officers exited their vehicle, they noticed a group of men fishing and an individual walking through a weedy area near a creek. While officer Moore was checking the group’s fishing licenses, officer Brown walked to the creek and noticed an alcohol can floating in the water. An inspection of the group’s cooler revealed another alcohol can of the same brand. The officers discovered that the individual who had walked into the weeds had discarded his alcohol can when he saw them approach. The man was issued a summons for stream litter and ordered to appear in court. The man was convicted and paid $247 in fines and court costs.
• During the statewide deer gun season, state wildlife officer Tom Frank, assigned to Mahoning County, was contacted by a resident who stated that someone had shot his house the day before. Officer Frank arrived and spoke with the resident. During the investigation, officer Frank noted that the projectile had entered the house about 12 feet up, passed through two walls of drywall, traveled 32 feet, and stopped in a 2×6 stud. Noting the location of the incident, officer Frank determined that one particular hunting party was likely to blame. Officer Frank was able to locate the group of hunters later that day but all of them denied hunting in that area. Without any real evidence, officer Frank impressed upon the group the importance hunting responsibly and the potential impact of hunter incidents within the community. He explained that it was extremely important to provide a resolution for the homeowner. Officer Frank aske the group to call if they had any additional information. About an hour later, officer Frank received a phone call from one individual in the hunting party who admitted he had shot and missed a deer with a .410 shotgun and the round struck the house. The hunter was very upset that his complacency could have seriously hurt someone and took full responsibility. The man was charged, appeared in court, and was convicted. He paid $291 in fines and court costs as well as $589 in restitution to the homeowner to repair the damage.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• In June, state wildlife officer Bob Nelson, assigned to Ross County, was on patrol at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Area around 1 a.m. A vehicle was on the wildlife area after posted restricted hours, which limits access to the wildlife area unless an individual is hunting, fishing, or trapping. Officer Nelson conducted a stop and contacted the two occupants of the vehicle. The male driver was found to be driving under suspension and was issued summonses for two counts of driving under suspension as well as a curfew violation. The female passenger appeared to be highly intoxicated. The driver consented to a search of the vehicle and officer Nelson located an open bottle of vodka behind the passenger seat that the female admitted belonged to her. She was issued summonses for curfew and an open container of alcohol. Officer Nelson had the man contact a licensed driver to come drive his truck off the wildlife area since his driver’s license was suspended. The intoxicated female was released to her family members who lived nearby. Both cases are still pending in Chillicothe Municipal Court.
• During May, state wildlife officer Jeff Berry, assigned to Muskingum County, and state wildlife investigator Kirk Kiefer received a complaint about a group of people driving all-terrain vehicles through Tri-Valley Wildlife Area in Muskingum County. The ATV operators were contacted and issued summonses to court for operating motor vehicles in non-designated areas. Seven subjects paid a total of $875 in fines and court costs for the violations. Motor vehicles, including ATVs, are prohibited from driving or parking at wildlife areas unless it’s on a designated roadway or trail.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• While patrolling the Auglaize River on a late summer evening, state wildlife officer Mark Schemmel, assigned to Auglaize County, observed two men at a popular fishing location adjacent to a low-head dam. When observed, it appeared as if only one of the individuals was actively fishing and the other individual had stepped away a short distance from the river bank. Officer Schemmel approached the two individuals, who were positioned directly beneath a nearby bridge. When officer Schemmel asked to inspect their fishing licenses, the one individual fishing provided a license and the other standing along the bank replied that he was just observing. Officer Schemmel departed from their location and continued to watch the two individuals from a distance. Shortly thereafter, the individual who stated he was just observing was viewed rigging one of the rods and casting the line into the river. Officer Schemmel again made contact with the two men and it was discovered the individual did not have a fishing license. The man was charged for the violation, and appeared in Auglaize County Municipal Court. He was found guilty and was ordered to pay $161 in fines and court costs.