Ohio Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 27, 2018
Central Ohio – Wildlife District 1
• Occasionally, state wildlife officers review the online game-check database for suspicious reports. Recently, state wildlife officer Chad Grote, assigned to Marion County, investigated a deer that had been checked in as a harvest from Delaware County. The individual lived in Marion County and had checked in the deer using an antlerless deer permit purchased after the deer had been harvested. Officer Grote spoke with the man at his residence. After further investigation, it was determined that the individual had not purchased any deer permits before deer hunting, and the deer was harvested in Marion County where antlerless permits were not valid. He was issued a summons for taking a deer without a deer permit and was warned for using an antlerless deer permit in a county where it was not valid and for hunting without a valid deer permit. The suspect was found guilty in Marion Municipal Court and paid $138 in fines and court costs.
• In March, state wildlife officers Austin Levering, assigned to Knox County, Patrick Muldovan, assigned to Licking County, Tony Zerkle, assigned to Fairfield County, and Tyler Eldred, assigned to Morrow County, conducted a sportfish enforcement project at Foundation Park in Knox County at the annual trout release. Officers Eldred and Zerkle observed one individual catch over his limit of five trout and give the fish to another person in his party. Once the suspect exited the park, officers Muldovan and Levering contacted the individual and issued a summons for keeping two trout over the daily limit. The trout were seized as evidence and the violator was ordered to pay $175 in fines and court costs.
Northwest Ohio – Wildlife District 2
• One November night, state wildlife officer Gregory Wasilewski, assigned to Richland County, and state wildlife officer Nathan Kaufmann, assigned to Huron County, were working along the Huron-Crawford county border before the opening of the 2017 furbearer season. As the officers were about to end their patrol, vehicle headlights were observed heading in their direction. The officers watched as the vehicle came to a stop along the roadway, and a light was observed shining toward a woodlot. Shortly thereafter, a single gunshot was heard coming from the woodlot. The officers contacted the individual who later admitted to killing a raccoon. The raccoon was located and the individual’s firearm was collected as evidence. It was also determined that the hunter did not have permission to hunt the property. The individual was issued two summonses, hunting raccoon out of season and hunting without permission. The suspect later paid $380 in fines and court costs and was required to forfeit the firearm.
• During Ohio’s deer gun season, state wildlife officer Mike Ohlrich, assigned to Lucas County, and state wildlife officer supervisor Kevin Newsome were patrolling popular deer hunting spots when they came across two deer hunters preparing for an evening hunt. As they spoke with the hunters, the officers discovered that one of hunters had harvested a deer earlier in the week, but had not tagged the deer nor did he permanently check it in. The officers were able to recover the deer at a nearby residence, and a summons was issued for failing to game-check the deer.
Northeast Ohio – Wildlife District 3
• State wildlife officer Jason Warren, assigned to Ashtabula County, received an anonymous Turn In a Poacher complaint that a hunter had been parking his vehicle on a city street in Conneaut and walking through a residential neighborhood carrying a compound bow to access property owned by the Canada National Railroad. Officer Warren patrolled the area on foot and observed the hunter standing near a large maple tree. Officer Warren contacted the man and issued him a summons for hunting without permission. He was convicted in court and paid $245 in fines and costs.
• State wildlife officer Aaron Brown, assigned to Wayne County, was patrolling an area known for hunting without permission complaints when he spotted a truck in the distance, well off the roadway, and partially obscured. Officer Brown was able to check the vehicle information from a distance and look up the individual’s information in the license database. After accessing the database, officer Brown was able to determine that the owner of the vehicle did not have a hunting license or deer permit. Shortly thereafter, officer Brown contacted the man who was in possession of a loaded muzzleloader after legal hunting hours, in addition to not having a hunting license or deer permit. The individual was issued a summons for hunting without a valid hunting license and deer permit and ordered to appear in court. He was convicted in court and paid $213 in fines and court costs.
Southeast Ohio – Wildlife District 4
• Last fall while on patrol in Meigs County, state wildlife officer Chris Gilkey encountered a man on an ATV who had a shotgun, a compound bow, and a turkey he had killed. Officer Gilkey inspected the shotgun and found that it was loaded and not properly cased. Additionally, the turkey had not been tagged, even though the man had purchased both a license and a fall turkey permit. Officer Gilkey inquired why the man had both a bow and a gun. The man stated that he had been deer hunting earlier and left his bow in his stand. Officer Gilkey then asked the man to show him where he had shot the turkey. After a delay, the man took officer Gilkey to a spot where he said he had shot the turkey. Officer Gilkey couldn’t find any sign that indicated a turkey had been killed at the location. Officer Gilkey walked down a nearby logging trail and found the location where the turkey had been killed close to a treestand. The ground nearby was covered in cracked corn and feathers. The hunter was charged with hunting turkey over bait and failure to temporary tag a turkey. He pleaded guilty to all charges and the turkey was confiscated.
Southwest Ohio – Wildlife District 5
• In early spring, several state wildlife officers patrolled Caesar Creek Lake in Warren County focusing on fishing license compliance and addressing complaints from the public of undersized crappie being kept. Overall, the project resulted in six citations for anglers fishing without a license, six citations for anglers keeping undersized crappie, and one citation for stream litter. The officers also caught one individual who was keeping undersized crappie twice within a two-hour period. In this case, the officers seized all of the individual’s fishing gear as evidence. This included two fishing poles, a cooler, and a minnow bucket. The individual pleaded guilty in Warren County Court and was ordered to pay $350 in fines and court costs. In addition, he was suspended from buying a fishing license for three years. The court also ordered all of his fishing gear be forfeited to the state. Successful cases like this are made possible because of calls from concerned citizens who report wildlife violations to their local state wildlife officer.